How Do I Garden Without Pain?
With Spring in full bloom, we find ourselves spending more time on our gardens and less time worrying about our bodies. Gardening is a major offender for causing back pain and injury! So, how do we make our garden flourish without sacrificing our physical health? Read below!
Warming up is an important part of any physical activity, whether it’s gardening or participating in strenuous exercise, warming up is vital of preventing injury. Before heading out to tend your garden, we recommend going for a brisk walk or doing some stretches to get your muscles and joints warmed up.
Did you know that dehydration can cause muscle spasms and cramps? Along with muscular problems, without enough water we can easily overheat in the sun, feel faint or dizzy, and feel generally unwell. Drink a glass of water before, after and during your time in the garden.
Be Mindful of Large Loads
Everyone’s guilty of it: wanting to take everything in one trip! Often times we mistake how heavy a load may actually be, which leads to muscle strains and other injuries. Instead, opt for multiple light weight loads. When lifting, be sure to keep your spine neutral and lift with your legs. Is your load still too heavy? Ask for help! Don’t worry, those flowers can wait!
Bending over, lifting heavy, or even being ultra-focused cause us to hold our breath and be generally less aware of our breath. Always try to be mindful your breath when doing strenuous activity. If you’re having trouble breathing while gardening, take a break.
Listen To Your Body
You know your body best. When you begin to feel tired, stressed or even unmotivated to continue, walk away and come back to your gardening work later. Any time you feel a strain, pinch or even just a small amount of discomfort, it’s best to take a break and focus on comfort.
Vary Your Tasks
You’d be surprised how many repetitive strain injuries we see in a day. It can be easy to set the goal of de-weeding your entire garden in one afternoon, but repetitive tasks put extra strain on certain parts of your body that can lead to injury. We recommend keeping variety in your gardening goals. Try taking a break from weeding and switch to a task that uses different parts of your body, like watering.
By now you’ve probably realize that taking breaks is one of our #1 recommendations, both in gardening and in other activities. When you begin to feel discomfort, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to take a break. Give your body time to heal itself before attempting to continue.
Remember, your body is forever! Your garden is not.